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Published 2021-10-15
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Showed Strict Rules On "Wife Swap". Next Mother & Son Were Murdered By Their Own Family Member!

Wife Swap was one of those reality shows that just interested audiences as they got to see how people live and how they would react going into a family who was the polar opposite of them. And sometimes the way these families had lived and raised their children had totally shocked viewers and the rules that the Stockdale family imposed on their children and how they lived not only surprised viewers but also Laurie Tonkovic who was the mom of the family they swapped with. And recently the Stockdale family has once again been in the media, though this time nothing to do with their life choices but more due to a murder that occurred in the family. What had exactly happened and what do some think was the cause of the tragedy? Read on to find out all the details!

Wife Swap - The Families

The Stockdale family featured on Wife Swap in 2008. Following the premise of the show, the family that experienced the terrible crime had swapped with the Tonkovics family. The Stockdales deeply religious family consisted of Kathy and Tim and their four sons Calvin, Charles, Jacob, and James. They lived in seclusion and isolation at Kathy’s insistence in order to be able to protect their children from bad influences. They were also in a bluegrass band called Stockdale Family Band. On the show, they appeared alongside the Tonkovics who was a laid-back family that consisted of Laurie and John and their children T-Vic and Meghan and their live-in significant others. The rules that the Stockdales had imposed on their kids had even made Laurie cry several times and if you want to find out what they were then be sure to read on to the next page.

The Stockdales - Their Way Of Life

As it was revealed, Kathy and Tim had become afraid of living in the city, fearing that their sons would be exposed to bad influences. To stop that from happening the family moved to Beach City, Ohio, area and established a homestead there where they began farming and apparently clog-dancing. The children were homeschooled and helped their father on the farm and their mother in household chores, as they wanted to teach them the value of hard work. As we mentioned before they also had a bluegrass band where the father and sons would play while Kathy worked as a manager.

The Stockdales - Rules For Their Children

The parents had specified they wanted to keep their sons away from things such as rap music, violent language, and sexual influences. The boys were not even allowed to have friends of the opposite gender. As the show depicted the boys had to work hard and in exchange for the work done, they earned tokens which could then be redeemed for things such as sticks of gum or time to listen to the radio - though certainly not pop or rap music, as the parents strictly managed the media that they could consume. On top of that, their sons weren’t allowed to curse or date, even though their oldest son was 19 and an adult. But as some people reckon this upbringing might have had some negative effect on the family, so make sure you read on to find out exactly what happened.

Stockdale Family - The 911 Call & Crime

The crime had occurred in June 2017, when the Stark County police had received a 911 call in which the caller hung up the phone. Officers were dispatched to the location of the call where they had found the doors to the residence open. As it was reported by local newspapers as they approached closer they heard a gunshot and called for backup. When they eventually went inside they had found that Jacob had shot his mother Kathy and his youngest brother James, who at the time was 21-years-old. They had both died on the scenes. Jacob then proceeded to shoot himself, however, he was still alive. As a result of his injury, Stockdale had survived a traumatic brain injury and has lost all sight in his left eye, and is living with at least seven metal fragments permanently lodged in his head.

Stockdale Family - Reaction To The Crime

At the time of the crime Timothy and the older two sons, who had already moved out by that point, were out of the house. Neighbors and police alike were shocked by the news about the crime that had occurred and they all described the family as a loving group of hard-working people. Many had said that Jacob was somebody who never had any problems in the past and that there never have been any 911 calls received to that home before. Though trouble for the Stockdale boy was just beginning. Read on to find out how his trial had gone.

Jacob Stockdale - The Trial

Getting started on Jacob’s trial was a slow process because he was in the hospital recovering from his self-inflicted wounds, though to help with the medical costs as well as a memorial service the family had set up a GoFundMe where the community and fans had raised $31,982. Though once all the treatment was received, Stockdale was arrested in September 2018, more than a year after the murder was committed. As it was reported by a local newspaper at the time, he was charged with two counts of murder and he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. The case was further delayed as Jacob was hospitalized in a psychiatric facility as he was deemed not mentally competent to stand trial. Later it was delayed once again due to difficulties in completing a sanity evaluation during the COVID-19 pandemic and at the same time concerns were raised by Heartland Behavioral Healthcare, after Jacob had twice attempted to escape his unit in the facility.

Stockdale Family - Remembering Kathy & James

As it was reported the ordeal of losing Kathy and James, and subsequently also Jacob was difficult for Timothy, Calvin, and Charles. In a released statement not long after the murder, the patriarch of the family had described his wife of 32 years as a “wonderful mother” who also loved being a grandmother. He also remarked on her strong love of learning and passions in Christian faith, natural health, and organic farming. Calvin had also released a statement about his youngest brother where he described him as a catalyst of family fun and said he was a gifted musician who was thinking of learning more about the entertainment business as his life was cut short. However, in light of the trial, as the judge revealed the family had expressed that they forgive Jacob for the crimes that he committed and added that they are grateful for the first responders who saved his life. The family also highlighted why the crime was committed is beyond their understanding though there is one person who might have an idea why it happened. So go to the next page to find out what Laurie Tonkovic had to say.

Laurie Tonkovic - Speaks Out About Stockdale Family Murders

There has been no official motive released as to why Jacob had committed the crime however Laurie Tonkovic, the wife who swapped with the family- had spoken out with her own speculations as to what caused it all. And according to her, it was the lack of free will that the boys had that had “caught up to Jacob”. As it was reported by Buzzfeed, the matriarch of the Tonkovic family had said that when she was with their family she wanted to let the boys have some fun, let them watch television and play videos games, and to just experience life a little bit. When she told them that, she recalled, Jacob ran outside crying and when she asked him what was wrong he told her that “his mom and dad would tell him that he would ‘burn in hell’”. As Laurie said everyone is given free will by God and that was something that those boys didn’t have, that they weren’t able to make choices. And she said that in her opinion, all of that had just caught up to him.

Jacob Stockdale - His Sentence

Jacob’s sentencing took place in May 2021. Judge Frank Forchione presided over the case during which, in a plea agreement, Stockdale pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, while two firearm charges were dismissed. During the hearing, when provided with the opportunity Jacob had declined to speak. In the letter in which the Stockdale family wrote that they forgive the now 28-year-old for his crimes, they had also asked the judge for the lightest sentence allowed. To this the judged replied that he has to protect the public and given that the nature of those crimes was so gruesome, Stockdale will be sentenced to serve 30 years to life in prison, 15 to life for each victim.

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